Manitou has added two heavy hitting models to its NewAg range of telehandlers, designed with farming in mind. Alex Heath spent time in the seat of the smallest of the two model NewAg XL range.
Following the launch of its NewAg line up of telehandlers in 2016, Manitou has expanded the range to include two heavier duty models that were left out of the initial rollout. The manufacturer says the market has changed in the subsequent years, with an increased demand for extra capacity and user comfort.
As a result, two of its largest models have been included in the NewAg line-up and come with the XL designation, signifying the increased capacity the 4.1 tonne lift machines have.
While they are not new from the ground up, significant changes to the engine, cab, chassis and on-board tech have been made, taking what was the construction derived 840 and 1040 to the MLT 841-145 PS+ and MLT 1041-145 PS+L telehandlers, purpose built for agricultural tasks.
In addition to the new models, a new specification level, Platinum, has been ushered in, available exclusively to the XL machines (see cab panel for more details).
The manufacturer sees these machines being operating for extended periods of time, on AD units, large grains stores, dairy farms and around straw stacks.
To see how the new machines stack up, we spent time in the seat of the 7.6 metre MLT 841 on a 600-cow dairy farm, carrying out a range of tasks.
The NewAg XL telehandlers have been designed with heavy lifting and long days in mind.
The cab is generous in its proportions and storage space is abundant. It its quiet and comfortable. The features found within, are aimed at making repetitive tasks less tasking. They are easy to use and fall to hand well with blister buttons neatly packaged.
The engine is an able performer with bags of power and torque, providing ample propulsion and hydraulic poke.
Overall, the MLT 841-145 PS+ NewAg XL is a step up from the NewAg range's previous largest offering and will suit those with heavy handling workloads, such as large grain stores, dairy units or AD plants.
Whereas previous large handlers from Manitou relied on John Deere engines, the majority of the latest NewAg range uses Deutz motors, however, the XL models use engines from Yanmar. The manufacturer is no stranger to Yanmar products, with plenty used in its construction and compact machines.
This 4.6-litre unit produces 141hp and 602Nm at 1,500rpm, up 12 per cent on its predecessor. It is a gutsy performer with plenty of torque throughout, enabling its nine tonne-plus of bulk to power into and through piles of muck, ensuring the grab and the machine’s payload is fully utilised.
Coupled directly to the engine is a Dana Spicer five -speed powershift transmission, sending power to the axles from the same manufacturer. Reducing parasitic losses from shafts and transfer boxes, drive to the axles is split after the gear box.
Gears can be changed manually or automatically shifted, while torque lockup is a features in gears four and five, making use of the 40kph road speed and 15,600kg towing capacity. Shifts are smooth and barely noticeable.
Although stepless and hydrostatic transmissions have crept into a number of comparable sized machines, the manufacturer says the working environments envisaged for the XL range suit the powershift ‘box better, with more road miles and pushing into piles favouring a mechanical power transfer.
This is certainly the case, with oodles of pushing power on tap, but enough finesse garnered from the brake pedal, when transmission disconnect is enabled. This can be turned on/off, but allows good inching up to a trailer or straw stack when enabled and facilitates the use of extra revs to be used, hurrying the hydraulic response.
In charge of boom movements is a 200 litre/minute load sensing pump, operating at 270 bar. In practice it means there is enough flow to lift, extend, tip and operate a grab all in one go. However, for work where subtlety is needed, the hydraulics are responsive and easy to control.
Operations are swift and, for the most part, effortless, with just a dab of throttle needed to encourage the boom out on occasions. Gravity is used to lower the boom on all models from Premium-spec and above, reducing the cycle times, the manufacturer says.
The boom itself is both deeper and wider than the manufacturer’s previous iterations. On the eight-metre machine it is a two-piece affair, with a third section added on the largest model to achieve a 10m lift.
Extra folding has been made to the boom’s steelwork, to increase its rigidity, while a wider neck and pivot point has been added to handle the increased strains a large grain bucket will place on it. The cast neck also has a redesigned front for easy cleaning and reduction in the build-up of material.
The first thing you notice when sitting in the cab, with its revised frame, is the amount of space afforded to the operator. A medium sized cat could be swung within. Both width and height are in equal proportions, so much so that portly or lanky operators will be comfortable.
With a larger cab comes more features, often lacking on smaller machines, namely a flat surface to put a toolbox or lunch bag on. This is ticked off with a large space behind the seat. Access is good, with plenty of grab rails, stainless steel tread plates and the manufacturer’s renowned cut out in the floor.
With Platinum-spec, an air suspended seat features. Attached to the seat is the armrest and the manufacturer’s JSM joystick. Alongside the joystick is a host of functionality buttons to help with loading and repetitive tasks such as bucket shake, return to load and quick lift, in addition to a hand throttle and rotary encoder to control the screen. In all, it is an easy to fathom and well laid out armrest, that combines many features even the most experienced operators will find use for.
The JSM now has a capacitive sensor to activate its use, rather than a button that needs holding in - a wise move from Manitou.
Visibility all round is good, considering the size of the machine, which is bolstered with strategically placed cameras both front and rear when the HighView and SafeView camera packs are ticked on the options list. Rear facing reversing cameras (SafeView) sees one placed on the rear of the boom housing and another on the right-hand side mirror totem, appearing on the screen automatically when reverse is selected.
And although the view to a raised bucket is adequate, the manufacturer also offers HighView cameras, which again appear on the screen when the boom is raised above 25-degrees. The camera points downwards, giving a birds-eye view of the trailer or wagon being loaded - handy for ensuring an even load is put on.
The screen is easy to navigate and clear. It is now uniform across the whole of the NewAg range, making it simple for operators to switch between machines.
It is also quiet, even at full chat on the road.
Where getting from lock to lock normally takes 4.5 turns of the steering wheel, the firm’s Comfort Steer reduces this to one full revolution of the steering wheel, proportional to boom angle and travel speed.
The manufacturer reckons 15 per cent of a loader’s life is spent idling with the operator off the seat. EcoStop can be configured to shut the machine down after a certain period of time, from 60 seconds to 30 minutes, when no activity is detected and certain parameters, such as boom angle, engine temperature and battery level, are met. This reduces fuel, servicing and DPF regeneration, it says.
Fill points for diesel, AdBlue and hydraulic oil are grouped together at the rear of the cab. The diesel tank is 13 per cent larger than before at 142 litres.
Automatic greasing is standard on Platinum models. This greases all articulation points around the machine, including the headstock. The only part that needs a grease gun wielding at is the prop shaft.
Quick lift sees the boom extend and retract as it is raised or lowered, when selected, reducing the number of operations the operator has to complete. Operators can set a return to load position, whereby the attachment hovers at a predetermined position, ideal for muck and grain handling duties. This is relatively straight forward to set up.
Cooling is provided by a single stack radiator with reversing fan as standard. A hatch at the bottom allows dirt to be washed or blown out.
Engine air intake sees a Vortex pre-filter added, mounted at the rear of the bonnet to reduce the amount of dust sucked in.
The chassis has been redesigned and is actually 10mm narrower than the manufacturer’s MLT 741 models. The trade-off being it is slightly longer, however, turning circle and manoeuvrability is comparable.